Welcome to the final step in choosing a degree that’s right for you! Let’s jump right into evaluating the degree programs you found. If you missed steps one through three, you can find them here.
Evaluating Degree Programs
Once you’ve completed your self-assessment, have done some mock job searching, and are keeping organized notes, you will want to begin evaluating degree programs. You can start to narrow down your choices by looking at the length of degree programs. How long you want to be in school and your previous school habits can help you determine what program length will be best for you.
Common Undergraduate Degree Programs:
• Associate Degree, two years
• Bachelor’s Degree, four years
If you’re not confident about your ability to attend a four-year degree program, you might consider earning a two-year associate’s degree that is transferable to another program. For example, you might earn an Associate of Arts in Biological Sciences and then choose to pursue a Bachelors in Human Biology. Once you have your B.S. in Human Biology, you could return to school to follow a graduate program to become a dentist, veterinarian, or doctor of chiropractic. The key to making multiple degree paths work is knowing what career field you want and then narrowing down the options. ThisCareerOneStop.org chart can help you understand the training and education options that exist.
Some people confuse an Associate of Arts or Science with an Associate in Applied Science or Applied Business. Knowing the difference is key. When you see the word “Applied” in the degree title that’s your clue that the degree is a vocational degree designed to prepare the student for employment. A vocational degree is not typically transferred to a four-year institution, while other degrees are transferable. Depending on the type of work you would like to do, an Associate in Applied Science or Applied Business could be for you. Just make sure you know what the degree title is before choosing your program.
As you continue to evaluate your degree program options using the notes you’ve carefully organized during this process, make a list of degrees that interest you based on the information you’ve collected. At this point, you probably have an idea of the program length you want to pursue to earn your dream job in the career of your choice. Now it’s time to go online and into the library to look at college options.
Look up colleges in the area that you would like to consider, and the type of degree you would like to earn, by running an online search. An example would be, “Universities in Kansas bachelor’s degree health care.” Once you have the results, start taking notes on the colleges and universities that do and do not meet your needs. It will save you time in the long run to have a list of the colleges, universities, and programs that don’t work for you, as well as the ones that do.
As you’re conducting your online search, you’ll want to start reaching out to the universities and colleges you are interested in to gain more information. Many times, it’s as easy as clicking a button on a web page to connect with an advisor. It helps if you have some questions in mind that you want to ask once you connect with an advisor, but don’t worry if you don’t. Advisors are there to help guide you through your program selection process. At this point, you don’t need to apply to a program, but you do want to know which programs interest you.
Whew! You’re getting close to knowing what degree you’ll choose. Take your list of preferred programs and compare it to your assessments and job search findings, and look for commonalities among them. You may have up to five degree programs that feel like they could be a good fit. Great work! You’ve made a huge step toward taking charge of your future education and career! You can further narrow your list by continuing to work through steps one through four of this process.
As you work through step four to choose your degree, contact Cleveland University-Kansas City if you’re interested in being the difference in health care. Our admissions team is here to help!